God’s desire is for each one of us to enjoy the inner peace and joy that comes from being at one with Him. And it is the deepest desire and need of man’s heart as well. Without this we are like goldfish trying to survive in a pool full of sharks! Or, as Peter puts it,“your enemy, the devil, prowls around, like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). And that is certainly not a peaceful prospect!
So what is the key to knowing that inner peace and security the Scriptures talk of? Isaiah gives us a very direct answer in our verse for today, when he says that “In repentance and rest is your salvation.” The primary opponent of repentance in the heart of man is pride. Pride rises up within us and never wants to admit that we might have been wrong – over anything. The instinctive response of the carnal nature is to deny what we have done wrong. Every day our courts are full of people pleading ‘not guilty’ to things they know very well they have done – hoping that their misdeeds cannot be proven ‘beyond any shadow of doubt’ and that the charges against them will be dropped.
In recent days there have been a number of cases of people who were arrested years ago for serious crimes, including murder, but were never convicted because of the lack of conclusive evidence. But such has been the advancement of science that re-examining the evidence, especially DNA evidence, has resulted in a conviction. DNA is unique to each individual.
Physical DNA is one thing, but the evidence of unconfessed and unforgiven sin in our hearts is like a spiritual DNA which affects us for the rest of our lives. There is only one way that this ‘spiritual DNA’ can be removed from our eternal record and that is through repentance and entering into the subsequent rest that comes through forgiveness and the cleansing God gives to our inner being. Unconfessed and unforgiven sin is like bait which attracts the enemy – as Isaiah goes on to illustrate in the succeeding verses, when he talks about the swiftness of our pursuers.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says – turn to Him again in repentance, own the reality of the things you have been trying to hide from Him, receive His forgiveness and enter into His rest. And that is a peace which passes all understanding!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for showing me through Your Word, the importance of having a clean and forgiven heart. I want to be strong in You. I am sorry for the times when in my pride I have failed to own the realities of my own life. Help me, Lord, to see those times and places when I have refused Your way of salvation and then to come back to you in full and glad surrender. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
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